Aside from the end of the world, another huge event is apparently slated for 2012: the grand opening of mankind's first outer space hotel. According to Galactic Suite Ltd, their Intergalactic Suites project is still pushing through as originally planned, despite numerous critics questioning both its timeframe and viability.
Just like other space tourism activities, enjoying the facilities will cost prospective guests a fortune. According to the company, it will require $4.4 million from each visitor for a three-night stay, with all the necessary travel, accommodations and training included. Preparations involve spending a full eight weeks in a tropical island where you will, hopefully, learn how to play spaceman.
The company's first facility will be a single pod in orbit 280 miles above the earth. It will hold six people, consisting of four velcro-covered guests (so they can climb walls like Spiderman) and two trained astronauts to pilot the machine. The source report says the pod will travel around the earth every 80 minutes, which doesn't make sense since the minimum amount of time to make one orbit is supposed to be 4 minutes longer. During their three days of stay, guests will be able to witness the sun rise 15 times a day (though I, admittedly, don't understand how that's supposed to work).
More than 200 wealthy people have already expressed interest in visiting the space hotel, with 43 already dropping cash to reserve their spot. Before you think that's a lot of rich people, consider that Intergalactic Suites is likely the dirty dives of space hotels. The Excalibur Almaz, another company racing for the space tourism pie, is looking to offer a similar service for $35 million a head beginning in 2013.